Refinancing After Divorce

Divorce is a difficult experience for everyone involved, and the details of sorting out property can be overwhelming. One of the items you will likely have to deal with is the refinancing of your home if both people were listed on the mortgage. How and when this happens will depend on the terms of your divorce. And of course, always consult your lawyer before making any decisions.

Refinancing To Remove An Owner

In the event that one of the previous spouses 188941811will retain ownership of the home, it will be refinanced to a new loan that is solely in that person’s name, removing the other party’s liability for the mortgage and property.

This can usually be done in a straightforward manner. The new sole owner will take out a loan and pay off the previous loan in the process. In this case the closing costs will be the responsibility of the new sole owner. Once the refinance is complete the other party will no longer be responsible legally for the mortgage or the home itself.

If there is any equity in the property, and cash is taken out during the refinance, the courts will determine how this is distributed during the divorce proceedings. It may be split or belong to one party or the other.

Divorce And Credit

In some cases, divorce can be hard on a person’s credit. This is especially true if there were a lot of debts incurred during the marriage or if a bankruptcy becomes part of the proceedings. A former spouse’s debts can continue to damage your credit for a while after the divorce is final.

This can make the refinance a little more difficult since it will affect credit and thus interest rates. Talk to your mortgage broker regarding the potential impact of your divorce on your credit and determine the best way to approach the refinance.

Who Pays The Mortgage

If child support or alimony is involved in the divorce, one party may continue paying part or all of the mortgage even though they no longer live in the house. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be refinanced out of that person’s name.

This matter should be determined as part of the divorce proceedings, and the home refinanced in accordance with the judge’s determination. Many mortgage brokers are experts in dealing with divorces, refinances, and their repercussions. It makes sense to talk with someone both during and after your divorce so that you know what your options will be.

 


 

Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

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6 Summer Home Maintenance Tips

Keeping your home in great condition not only keeps you a happy person, but it helps maintain the value of your home! Here’s a few recommendations on what you can do this summer to keep your home in tip-top condition:

Keep it green: Harsh summer heat can up Summer-Home-Maintenance-Tip-2014the ante when it comes to caring for your lawn. Make sure to keep it watered and fertilized!

Fire it up: Get a head start for the upcoming winter and clean out your wood- burning fireplace and chimney. You’ll have one less winter task to attend to!

Carpet care: Now’s the perfect time to have your carpets professionally cleaned, which will protect your carpet and make it last even longer. Want to save a few bucks? Rent a quality carpet cleaner and do it yourself!

Touch-ups: Inspect your home—inside and out—and touch up any paint where necessary. This can be done quickly and easily, and will prevent future peeling!

Lock and key: Check all of the locks on your windows and doors and ensure that everything is working properly. Being proactive about safety is always a smart move!

Oil it: Anything squeaking? Add a squirt of WD-40 or similar product to door, cabinet and window hinges to keep them in top repair.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
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Tips For Choosing New Flooring

When those old carpets are starting to look worn and you decide it’s time to replace your flooring, there are three main flooring types to consider, as well as a few other possible options. The right one for you depends on your lifestyle and how you use the rooms in your home.

Affordable Carpet

Carpet is usually the most affordable flooring for any home. It comes in an endless array of colors and types, and is relatively easy to install. Carpet is, of course, prone to stains, which is a consideration if you have kids or pets in the home. Keeping carpets really clean requires regular shampooing or steam cleaning, which can add up over time. Carpet provides warmth on bare feet and is soft and comfortable to walk on.

Wood And Laminate

Home improvement, floor installation

Wood flooring is one of the oldest types of flooring and can be very beautiful. Some wood floors are made of soft woods, however, and they do scratch easily. If you have a pet with claws or kids who want to drive their toy cars around, you may find the flooring is damaged easily. Hardwood floors can be refinished, but it can be expensive.

Laminate flooring, which goes by name brands such as Pergo, is more affordable then wood in most cases, and is a little more durable. The higher end versions can actually resemble wood. It is less prone to scratching, but can’t be refinished the way wood floors can if it is damaged. It comes in a variety of styles and colors.

Bamboo has become a popular choice in recent years because it is sustainable and earth friendly. It is a beautiful choice for flooring and more affordable than other woods. It’s important to note, however, that it is soft and does scratch easily.

Tile Flooring

Tile is a flooring option that is often seen in warmer climates. Some people find it hard to stand on tile for extended periods, but it can help keep the home cool in hot weather. Tile can make a real statement in your home, but the grout can be a bit hard to keep clean.

Whatever flooring you choose, consider how it will work with your lifestyle and your family, as well as what look you are seeking for your home. Of course, budget will also be an important consideration. No matter what you choose, look for quality flooring that will last.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

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Tips to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

Saving-for-a-HomePaying off your mortgage is one of the biggest financial goals of most homeowners, and retiring debt-free can certainly give your golden years a greater sense of financial freedom and stability. Whether you’re nearing retirement age or are just looking to reduce your largest debt load more quickly, here are some great tips for paying off your mortgage faster!

Principal Versus Interest

Essentially, to pay off your mortgage you have to reduce the principal owing on your property. There are really two ways you can do this without dramatically reducing your monthly budget.

Increase Your Monthly Payments

Even increasing your monthly payments by a small amount can take years off the life of your mortgage. You can also choose an accelerated plan whereby you can make weekly or biweekly payments rather than monthly. This will allow you to make a few extra payments each year. Combining these efforts can really have a surprising effect on the principal of your mortgage over a short period of time. There are a number of free online calculators that can help you figure out the exact numbers for your particular situation.

Reduce Your Interest Rate

If increasing your monthly payments is not an option, you can still pay off your mortgage faster by refinancing your mortgage to negotiate a lower rate. Keep your eye on the financial markets to gauge the best time to make this move, and seek out the advice of a real estate agent or financial advisor to confirm that this is a viable option for your current financial situation. If you have a good history of payment and an excellent credit score, finding a lender shouldn’t be a problem.

Make A Lump Sum Payment On Your Mortgage

Another way you can decrease your mortgage principal and pay off your mortgage faster is by making a large lump sum payment. If you have come into extra money, have received a large income tax return, or just have a considerable amount of savings, this may be a wise financial decision. It will also dramatically decrease the amount of interest you will pay over the life of your mortgage and thus save you money. Just be sure your mortgage does not include a clause that will penalize you, and then determine whether it is still a good choice before going ahead.

The satisfaction a homeowner feels when they make that last mortgage payment is really unmatched by any other financial achievement, and following these simple steps can more quickly make that dream a reality.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

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How Many Open Houses Should I Have?

An open house can be a great tool for showing your house and getting it sold. On the other hand, it takes a lot of work to prepare for one, and requires that you be out of your house for most of the day. It also guarantees you will get a lot of people just out for a look who aren’t serious buyers. So how often should you hold an open house when your home is on the market? It depends on a few factors.

The Effort Versus The Benefit

Getting your home ready for an open house takes some effort. You will need to make sure everything is clean, clutter cleared away, and possibly even make some changes to the décor. Even if you are Open-house-signkeeping your home showing-ready as much as possible, it does take some extra work.

There’s also the requirement that you find a place to go for the day. You can’t spend every weekend imposing on friends or family or finding activities to occupy you. It’s important that the benefit of an open house outweigh the effort put into setting it up.

How Long On The Market

The longer your house is on the market, the more often you are likely to want to have an open house. If you have a lot of interested buyers making appointments to see the house, you may not need to hold one at all. If you aren’t seeing a lot of showings, then an open house is a good option.

The longer you have been on the market, the more useful an open house may be. It will bring in people who might otherwise not have made an appointment to see your home—these are people who may not have known the house was of interest to them until they saw it in person. Home hunters often spend a day going to various open houses, and might add a home to their list that wouldn’t otherwise be of interest.

The Frequency Of Open Houses

You aren’t likely to get far by having your open houses too frequently. In most cases, more than once a month would probably be too much. When you leave enough time in between each open house, you allow for new buyers to come into the market and bring a new crop of people each time.

Of course, this is something that we will discuss as part of your customized marketing plan. I will help you to select the right timing and frequency on your open houses based on the interest in your property and the market in your area.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

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Negotiating Tips for the Home Buyer

When it comes to buying a home, the ability and willingness to negotiate is a must for both the buyer and seller. In general, sellers ask for more than they are actually willing to accept and buyers offer less than they are willing to pay. The trick is to find the perfect balance so that you, as a buyer, feel good about the purchase price without leaving the seller feeling insulted.

Know Your Marketnegotiate-price

Real estate is a business that either favors the buyer or seller, hence the terms buyer’s market and seller’s market. When negotiating a purchase price, it’s important to know which of the two you are in. As the buyer, you will have the best chance at a successful negotiation if you research the price of other comparable homes in the area before making an offer.

Make It Personal

When you make an offer, the seller will see nothing more than a piece of paper with some numbers on it that represent the price you are willing to pay. If you really want the seller to take your offer to heart, let them know why you want to buy the home. You can do this by preparing a handwritten letter expressing your interest and the reasons you fell in love with their house. If you have a family, tell them about everyone who will be living in the home. Let them get to know you and allow them to picture the happiness that you can bring to their house. Believe it or not, some sellers actually look at the process like finding a good home for a lost puppy. They want quality people to buy their home, so do your best to show them that you are sincere.

Nobody Likes Rejection

Not every offer is accepted, so don’t be disheartened if your first offer isn’t a winner. In some cases, the seller will make a counteroffer for your consideration. Have you ever heard the old saying, “never take the first offer?” The same is true in real estate, and almost every seller knows it. Your first offer is likely to be less than you are actually willing to pay, which leaves you some bargaining room.

Why Your Offer May Not Be Accepted

There are a number of reasons why a seller may choose to reject an offer, including a feeling that the offer was just too low, the house is newly listed on the market or another offer may be higher than the one you created. In some cases, sellers may also reject an offer that includes owner financing or other requests that are impossible to meet. One example may be an offer that requires the house be available within a certain amount of time. Most contracts require that the seller move out within 30 – 60 days, but anything less would require negotiation.

Read The Fine Print

Before you sign anything relating to a real estate transaction, make sure that you read over every detail of the agreement. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me. After all, negotiating is a major part of my job!


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

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Is Buying a Fixer Upper a Good Idea?

Always dreamed of renovating a home exactly to your specifications, or have you found an older house that is structurally sound but needs a lot of work inside? Perhaps the price is right and you can’t resist all that house you can get for your money. Whatever the reason, buying a fixer-upper can be both an exciting and rewarding purchase or a financial and time consuming disaster, depending on whether you are prepared for what you have gotten yourself into. So what should you know before buying a home that requires a little or a lot of tender loving care?

The Benefitshome_remodeling_mistakes

The benefits of purchasing a fixer-upper are obvious. The price is usually right, and if the seller wants a quick sale because of decreased interest in the home, you may be able to negotiate a really great price. Also, if you intend to flip the home after the renovations, the profit for the money and time you have invested can be quite considerable. The trick to getting these benefits, however, is knowing what type of property to look for, as well as having an accurate idea of the associated costs, and realistic expectations of the time and labor it will take.

What Makes A Great Fixer-Upper?

There are several features that may make for a great fixer-upper.

Location—Buying a home in a desirable neighborhood is always a smart idea, particularly with homes that require a lot of work. Purchasing a house in a sought after area can mean a greater profit margin for resale value.

Layout And Configuration—This is especially important if you plan to sell the home after the renovations are finished. Selecting a home that will appeal to the greatest number of buyers will get you the best price. Also, choosing a home with a layout that flows may save you a considerable amount on the actual renovation costs because you are less likely to need custom installations and work.

Condition—Ultimately the most important consideration is the actual condition of the home. Choosing a fixer-upper with only cosmetic problems such as damaged flooring or old fixtures and appliances, and in need of only a new paint job, can often have the greatest profit margin and require much less money and time.

Overall, when purchasing a home that needs work, getting a qualified home inspector’s advice and getting estimates of the cost of work to be done before making your offer can make all the difference.

Tips For Qualifying For A Better Interest Rate

When it comes to a home loan, the interest rate is a very important factor. It can make all the difference between being able to afford the home of your dreams and having to settle for something less. On a large mortgage, even a slight increase in the interest rate can make a big difference in the monthly payments. Thus, getting the best interest rate possible is the goal of every home buyer.

Your Credit Is Key

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The number one factor in determining what kind of interest rate you will get on your home loan is your credit rating. Keeping tabs on your credit is important for anyone, but especially for those hoping to own a home. Before you apply, you should check your credit report for any errors that you can correct ahead of time. You should also look for anything you can do to improve your credit.

If you have a high debt to income ratio it will hurt your credit. Try to pay off things like high interest credit cards before you apply for a home loan, or at least pay them down to a place where that ratio is improved. You should also avoid applying for credit in too many places—too many checks on your credit can adversely affect your score.

Lock It In

When rates are low, you should get that application for a loan in as soon as you can. In most cases you can lock in a certain interest rate for a particular period of time. Interest rates fluctuate all the time, and sudden changes in the economy can send them up. When they are low, you should be prepared to take advantage. Even with imperfect credit, the higher interest rate in a low set of rates is the better deal, so get it while you can.

Go With Who You Know

In some cases, a financial institution may offer a slightly lower interest rate to long time customers. Because they know your financial history and you have built trust with them, they will be more willing to disregard small credit problems and give you a better rate.

Your interest rate will make a big difference in how fast you pay off your home and how much you can afford. Be sure you do whatever you can to qualify for and lock in a great rate.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

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Things to Consider When Buying an Older Property

Whether it’s the character and charm of an older home with its original features, hardwood floors, and wood burning fireplace, or the quaint historic feel of the neighborhood in which it is found, there is a certain appeal to older property. But purchasing an older home may involve additional work and costs that a newer home may not. With a little research and preparation, however, you may find that purchasing an older property may be the right decision for you. Here are a few things to consider before making an offer on an older home.

Age Of The Home

Depending on where you live, an older home canhome-inspection mean 30 years to 300 years. Naturally, this is the first point to consider when deciding whether an older home is right for you. The age of the home, the foundation, and the roof can make a big difference in the type of maintenance it will require, how frequently things may need to be replaced, and the difficulty and expense of replacing them. You will also want to know what kinds of materials were used in the construction of the home.

Age Of The Features

Older homes can sometimes have very old features and appliances lurking within them. Be sure you consider whether or not you will have to replace the kitchen appliances, and be sure to ask when features such as the furnace were last replaced. The age of the home you are looking to purchase may also mean that your decoration budget will have to include costs that you might not have originally anticipated.

Importance Of Home Inspection

The importance of getting a home inspection cannot be understated when purchasing any home, but when in the market for an older home this is a step that should also be done with the utmost care and by a true professional. A home inspection can find problems that are more common in older homes, such as electrical and plumbing issues.

Knowing what you are getting yourself in for when purchasing an older property can make all the difference in finding a home that is right for you. Older homes can certainly be a rewarding purchase, and if you recognize the maintenance costs and any potential renovation costs you will be prepared to make your new house a home.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
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What Are Buyer Closing Costs?

closing_costMost people who are in the market for a new home are aware of the costs associated with purchasing a home and moving, but closing costs can be expenses that may be overlooked, especially for first-time home buyers. The amount of the closing costs will depend on where you live, the type of home you are purchasing, and the type of mortgage you are going to carry, but in most cases they can equal anywhere from two to four percent of the purchase price of your home. So before planning your home purchase budget, here are some hidden expenses that you may want to include.

In general there are two types of closing costs, recurring and non-recurring. Recurring costs include things like fire and flood insurance, property taxes, and mortgage insurance; these are expenses that will have to become part of your monthly budget and in most cases are often anticipated by new home buyers. Non-recurring costs are one-time costs that are associated with closing a home purchase, and in most cases make up the bulk of extra expenses. Non-recurring closing costs usually include:

  • Title Policies
  • Escrow
  • Wire Fees
  • Delivery
  • Attorney Fees Endorsements
  • Recording
  • Transfer Taxes
  • Home Protection Plans Natural Hazard Disclosures Home Inspection
  • Lender Fees

Depending on your particular circumstances, the actually closing fees may include just a few of these costs, or even include ones that are not listed here. Purchasing a home is a huge investment and expense, and getting a clear picture of the cost before signing your name on the dotted line is important.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
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